back to article Brit analysts formed pact to crash Autonomy's market valuation, ex-CFO tells US court

Autonomy's former chief financial officer has alleged the firm collapsed partly because two financial analysts agreed to badmouth it in the hope of making a profit from its demise. Stephen Chamberlain, Autonomy founder Mike Lynch's co-defendant in US criminal proceedings over the company's collapse, made the extraordinary …

  1. DJO Silver badge

    "22 lines that tells us that 100-30+2=72."

    (100 - 30) + 2 = 72

    100 - (30 + 2) = 68

    Perhaps the other 21 lines explained the execution order.

    1. ThomH

      Also:

      100 - 30 + 2 = 72

      … because there’s absolutely no ambiguity in the original expression.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      100 - (30 + 2) = 68

      Jesus, sometimes you lot are pig shit thick.

      The comment is not about the equation presidency and not even about the formala in the original document/s,

      it's a comment to highlight we're talking about different interpretations of value in company deal, why the money worshippers create those valuations. Hint, valuations are based on individual's making the biggest profit. They may highball or lowball to make the most, however it's all shite. Autonomy was never in a million years worth that valuation, doesn't matter, however if you can sell it and make a profit, who gives a shit, it's the mug on the other ends problem and even there they'll do the same to someone else down the food chain until it hits the poor mugs pension fund, but who cares about proles.

      C-Suite emperor's with no clothes don't like being shown for the fools they are. Name the last good leader of HP? Were there ever any?

      A pox on all the fcukers.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Why the down votes?

        I'd guess that most of Reg's readership are ordinary people who don't deal with the financial world except as retail investors. They probably don't probe the workings of the real world and don't regard movies like "The Big Short" or "The Laundromat" as not very entertaining.

        Financial services by their nature are parasitic. We have to tolerate them, though, because they can perform a useful function. However, you get to break over point where the tail definitely starts wagging the dog; I've personally witnessed this in action some years ago and had the revelation that companies were seen by financial engineers as entities that provide employment and make things, they exist to generate cashflow and so perceived value. Once the perceived value is created then the trick is to somehow separate that value from the company proper, usually by saddling the company with debt and siphoning the proceeds into investments, subsidiaries or other vehicles for value transfer. Bottom line is that the retail investor -- our pension funds -- get robbed.

        I haven't followed this particular case at all because its just an internecine argument about how a company was dressed up for sale and where the value went. Its Tiger Shark versus Great White. Not much for the rest of us to see, really.

  2. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    FAIL

    WTF

    "The panel's verdict smashed a hole in Lynch's central High Court trial defence; namely, that Deloitte had signed off Autonomy's accounts and therefore they were all above board."

    How can that smash a hole in his defence when its a conclusion reached many years after the fact? It's not Lynch's job to audit his auditors.

    1. MrReynolds2U

      Re: WTF

      Perhaps Deloitte know where all the bodies are buried for multi-nationals, politicians and other entities that are too big to fail.

      For this reason, they cannot be at fault above a minor wrist-slap. Any more and the whole house of cards might fall.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: WTF

        Deloitte are currently marking the UK government's homework on Covid. Also their own.

        It remains to be seen whether the attempted whitewash will, erm, wash.

    2. mrGecko

      Re: WTF

      Because the finding against the auditors is that they were doing Autonomy's bidding rather than being impartial. Naturally, the judgment against the auditors uses somewhat different language: https://www.frc.org.uk/getattachment/f29f4517-5b81-4e54-a0c9-ef67ee487282/Tribunal-report-Autonomy-06-01-21.pdf. But in essence, that's what it means to 'loose your objectivity' as an auditor. You loose your objectivity _to_ someone else.

      Mike's central defence in his case with HPE is 'but my auditors said it was all fine'. In fact, the auditors shouldn't have said that, and only said that because Autonomy had gained undue influence over them.

      This is a case were autonomy was lost.

    3. Yougottalaugh

      Re: WTF

      Roles and responsibilities and logic explain it. The CEO (Lynch) is the most senior accounting officer, whose job it is to ensure the financial statements are accurate. His codefendant (Chamberlain) is VP of Finance and prepared those statements. If the statements are wrong then these two are at fault. Deloittes verify, they act as auditors of what Autonomy were claiming was happening. Auditors should give everyone confidence that the financial statements are reliable. The FRC concluded that the auditors failed and should not have agreed the financial statements. The only conclusion you can reach therefore is that the financial statements were not reliable. So now you know who is at fault. Given the defence relied on the argument that the auditors approved things, and the auditors were subsequently found to be unprofessional and given a record breaking fine, there isn’t really a defence any more. It’s not just that the defence has got a hole in it, it sank without trace the day the FRC finished their work.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The Justice system

    Apparently the best place to be when you want something to drag out until everyone is sick of hearing about it.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: The Justice system

      Absolutely the best place to be if you are a lawyer, even if you lose you win.

      The lawyers guild badge should be a winged dagger slicing through a cash bag, motto; Who cares who wins?.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    A Short Time will Tell whether it is High Time for IT to Short UKGBNI

    There will be those who espouse that an honourable and competent UK Home Secretary should make a decision which refuses his [Lynch's] extradition to the US for yet another manipulative show trial.

    However, with so much apparent sleaze in evidence amongst the ranks of MPs and Conservative party colleagues, one has always to recognise that corruption may pervert the course of natural justice and deny innocent parties their due rest and peer comforts.

    Then the SHTF* and no one emerges smelling rosy with some being buried up to their necks in all of the BS** they were expected to be pimping/pumping and dumping.

    It will be very revealing to hear leading news of the latest choice, which all may assume be freely made but which may very well not be, for it be subject to corruptive influences and sleazy considerations.

    * ...... Shit Hits The Fan

    ** ...... Bull Shit

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: A Short Time will Tell whether it is High Time for IT to Short UKGBNI

      Hmm ....

      "However, with so much ******** sleaze in evidence amongst the ranks of MPs and Conservative party colleagues, one *** ****** ** ********* can only expect that corruption *** will pervert the course of natural justice and deny innocent parties their due rest and peer comforts."

      Cleaned it up a bit, hope you don't mind.

      O.

    2. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

      Re: A Short Time will Tell whether it is High Time for IT to Short UKGBNI

      While the Labour party continues to output charming ladies like Angela Rayner and Claudia Webbe, it is perhaps best to avoid claiming the moral and ethical high ground.

      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        Re: A Short Time will Tell whether it is High Time for IT to Short UKGBNI

        Especially when it's Labour who were hijacked by money-grubbing liars, and that gave us bloody Boris.

        Corbyn has been paid by all and sundry to do and say vile things, so it's not unreasonable to wonder how much Boris's mates paid him for handing them the country to loot.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A Short Time will Tell whether it is High Time for IT to Short UKGBNI

        "claiming the moral and ethical high ground."

        17 MPs who own homes in London which are currently let out are currently also claiming Parliamentary expenses to pay for a London address.

        Want to guess how many are Tories, and how many are Labour?

        Even the Daily Mail and the Sun are getting upset about the Tories antics. That Johnson chap and his chumocracy friends are starting to look quite vulnerable.

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10194335/Tory-MP-told-Marcus-Rashford-stick-football-36-000-second-job.html

        "Fury as 17 MPs use expenses loophole to rake in £1.3m from the taxpayer to cover rent on London flats while making money from property they OWN in the capital - as it's revealed Tory who told Marcus Rashford to stick to his day job has a second job".

        or maybe

        https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16699003/tory-mp-geoffrey-cox-rents-out-taxpayer-funded-home/

        "SIR Geoffrey Cox is reportedly raking in a fortune renting out his taxpayer-funded London home - and has made at least £5.5million in his second job.

        The embattled Tory MP, 61, who has already been accused of using his Commons office for his job as a barrister, even claimed £3,800 for a second London pad while working overseas."

        Or various others similar.

        Be careful what you wish for when commenting on sleaze.

        How's Edwina these days anyway? Y'know, John "victorian values" Major's bit on the side Edwina (Currie). See e.g. sources referenced at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwina_Currie#Affair_with_John_Major if you're unfamiliar with the back story.

        A dodgy politician is a dodgy politician, none of the Westminster parties has a monopoly on them.

      3. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: charming ladies like Angela Rayner and Claudia Webbe

        And which one of them was it that burnt a twenty quid note in front of a homeless person to join a school club?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it, I've not seen HP to have any case at all on this. Did I miss something? How is this still going on?

    Or did the Autonomy chiefs actually concoct something? Where's the evidence of it, I've not seen any?

    Could someone please explain this all?

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      I guess you've not been following El Reg's excellent coverage for the last 12+ months or so?

      Sheesh!!! Where's your dedication man...

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Not again!

    Look guys, I'm getting pretty sick of popcorn now.

    1. aerogems Bronze badge

      Re: Not again!

      The SCO v Linux case has finally wrapped up and Prenda is also over, so it's not like you'll be eating massive quantities in short periods of time anymore.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to." - Dorothy Parker.

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